Social networks are growing up

ShimAn article in Fast Company looks at the impact of the maturing of social networks on the Internet: The spring of 2006 will go down as a curious moment in the annals of buzz. The mainstream-media steamroller caught up with a bona fide cultural phenomenon, then flattened it into a cliché before the average person knew what all the fuss was about. That’s ironic, because the fuss was about the average person–that is, his or her participation in what’s known variously as "social media," "social networking," "user-generated content," the "live Web" or the dreaded "Web 2.0." But don’t worry, this isn’t yet another story getting all up in MySpace or metaprofiling Friendster profiles. This is about how those sites, and their successors, are growing up–and about their impact on how business gets done.

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